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The reliability of water supply in the Caribbean varies between islands, but it is consistently the poor who receive the worst service. The problem is compounded by widespread soil erosion throughout the Caribbean, which has major impacts on the quality of water supply and watershed fertility.
There is an extensive international debate about the effectiveness of payments for watershed services and their likely impact on poverty. Should farmers and other land managers be paid for their role in maintaining watershed services? (for example, rewarding them for their role in changes in water quantity and quality and keeping the evenness of water flow in the locality).
To address these questions, IIED has run an action-oriented project in the Caribbean, China, South Africa, Bolivia, Indonesia and India that has been trying to develop payments for watershed services and look at their impacts on livelihoods.